Sexual Harassment Has No Place On Broadway
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Sexual Harassment Has No Place On Broadway

How Amar Ramasar's casting in the West Side Story revival is putting performers at risk.

Sexual Harassment Has No Place On Broadway

April 2018- Amar Ramasar makes his Broadway debut as "Jigger" in Carousel

May 2018- Ramasar sends nude photographs of New York City Ballet's (NYCB) female company members to another male dancer.

September 2018- Ramasar is fired from his position in the NYCB.

May 2019- Ramasar is reinstated to his position in the NYCB after "mandated counseling."

February 2020- Ramasar will return to Broadway as "Bernardo" in Ivan Van Hove's revival of West Side Story.

While many people tout the ability to "separate the art from the artist" as a positive trait, it is not a quality as simple to attain for those who face performing with a sexual harasser. In an industry where the workforce is constantly reminded that "everyone is replaceable" and that "there is always someone who will say yes" there is an immense pressure to be inherently comfortable with any situation.

With this difficult mindest considered, returning a known sexual harasser to a place of power by casting him in a revered musical's revival is knowing endangerment. Not every performer has the luxury of turning down a job (and a paycheck) because they feel threatened by the presence of a coworker, nor should they have to.

Amar Ramasar's casting is a slap in the face to survivors of sexual assault and harassment, displaying that the only people who are truly "replaceable" in this industry are the women who quit their jobs out of fear after experiencing abuse in their workplace.

The 2020 West Side Story revival was cast by the largest name in New York casting- Telsey + Company. This is a casting group that controls the majority of casting on Broadway stages, the widely revered pinnacle of theatrical performance in the United States. The message Telsey sends to aspiring performers is that a powerhouse in the industry is comfortable jeopardizing the safety of hundreds of other professionals for the sake of hiring a known sexual harasser; that women and their safety is less vital than the success of men.

If you are making a trip to New York anytime soon, I urge you to skip spending your hard-earned money supporting the work of a sexual harasser and pass on viewing the revival of West Side Story. Amar Ramasar, "a boy like that," doesn't deserve your time.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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